Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So Much for Live Streaming the Inauguration...

Yesterday wasn't my best day.

I started out feeling the history of the moment. I am one for history, and the pageantry of America's traditions is unmatched in the modern world. I did not vote for Barack Obama, but as I've said before, he is my president. Thus I wasn't so pleased with Grace's comment, nor was I that happy about Tim's digs about the "partisanship of hate" at this blog. What really bummed my morning was the darned live streaming online. I should have known better. At first I thought it was just my classroom. But my colleagues told me that servers and video feeds were overwhelmed by demand, so watching the inauguration speech online didn't work. That's what it is. I hadn't planned on making a big deal out of it anyway, but as the morning came and the hour of the oath of office approached, the weight of history was crushing. I had the live feed for my 7:30 class and Representative John Lewis was being interviewed by Brian Williams on MSNBC. As one who stood with Dr. King, and as one who was beaten as a civil rights demonstrator, it's hard to find more authenticity on the subject of overcoming our oppressive history. It was a great learning moment for the students. The 9:00am class wasn't so lucky. The live video wasn't working on any of the big websites. We got a couple of snippets of Barack Obama's speech, and then I shut it down and started my regular class.

I'd say next time I'll get a TV setup for the room, but there won't be a next time like that. We just don't see that kind of mass participation in politics. And if Barack Obama energizes a new generation to engagement in civic life, that alone will be an accomplishment not achieved in either Democratic or Republican administrations in the last 30 years.

I watched Obama's inaugural speech this morning, the whole thing, on C-Span, so that's better. I needed just to sit down and take it in. It was good but not great. He offered a few lines that reaffirmed our exceptionalism, but the address was far from Lincolnian, so perhaps the analogies to Abraham will cease.

Last night, I had to run errands before picking up my youngest son, and I watched a little news before I helped my boy with his homework. So, it was disjointed news day all around. By bedtime, reading online, I was disturbed by the reports of the tremendous disrespect shown to President Bush. And so these last gasps of Bush derangement must really be seen as setting the table for the next four years. Here at my blog and at the nation's capital, folks did not heed Obama's call to transcend the bitter discords of our partisanship. Now that the celebrations are over and the hard work of governing is to begin, folks can jettison the simplistic platitudes of brotherhood and focus on the realism of governing and opposition.

It's the idealism in me that seemed to suggest, by my sense of right, that folks would put rancor aside for the day. But folks were just wicked. The chants of "na na na na, hey hey, goodbye,"
mocking President Bush, reportedy accompanied by one-fingered salutes, indicate that transcendence is not on the menu for the left's hardliners. Indeed, Code Pink's Medea Benjamin and Desiree Fairooz, sat within 100 feet of President Obama as "The One" delivered his address. How would the most disrespectful protest celebrities, those who disrupted the states of the union and flashed bloody hands in front of Secretary of State Rice be allowed so close to this new president? Members of Congress scored them tickets, it's being said. And for all of those who keep telling me that hardline leftist "don't represent the base of the Democratic Party," we'll ... you can just kiss my ass on that one.

Arrest Bush at Inauguration

The big lie is over. The nihilist left has their man in the White House now. Racial recrimination got a reprise in the Reverend Joseph Lowery's benediction, said to be "
hardly the sort of post-racial note Obama could have wanted." My jaw dropped yesterday while watching Howard University's Professor Daryl Scott on C-Span, who said that President Obama would "grind down" the terrorists like President Bush had not. The reference was to Obama's remark that "for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, 'Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you'." Where was the leftist solidarity on "grinding" down our enemies when President Bush spoke over and over again of the long struggle before us in defeating the scourge of radical Islam? The grinding down began in 2001, when the Bush administration took the fight to the enemy in Afghanistan, and finished the work of the international community by toppling the murderous regime of proliferation in Baghdad. The left and their historians will try to rewrite the Bush years, but it's not going to work. I won't let it. People of tradition and perspective won't let it. The time to ante up is now, and those who for so long have demonized the conservatives aren't ready to quit, so I say, we'll join you in the arena of partisanship, if that's your play, if that's what you want. The recuperative powers of the nation will work their healing ways irrespective of Barack Obama's accession. He is the great facilitator at this piont, but this nation is too strong and too proud to let the window dressing of black authenticity march as the true source of healing and rebirth. It has to come from within all of us, to move past this second civil war of the last decade. So far the left isn't ready for it.

A commenter at
Sister Toldjah's place, Carol, noted this in response to Jeremy Lott piece yesterday at the Guardian:

I’m already tired of people saying we should “give our new president a chance”. I believe President Obama is either a total liar or the best con man ever. Either way the hatred will never stop for President Bush and I’m not going to sit back and keep my mouth shut as proof I’m not just like them. I’m not like the Bush haters. It’s hard to put faith in a man who only cares about polls, not the welfare of this country. Only time will tell who is honest and patriotic. I know I am. Is Obama?
I'm not going to "shut up" either. I will be respectful, and I'll never call for the execution of my president for fighting with all his powers to defend the nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But the new era is here - a day of history and wonder now gives way to years of work. Part of that work, that mighty load we bear as conservatives, is to hold our new leadership to the majesty and responsibility of their stations. This country deserves no less.

Photo Update: Tigerhawk.


Norm said...

Well, we just have to really laugh at the statement of Professor Scott.
I anticipate many more two-faced thoughts and statements from the left as they try to rationalize and support President Obama's actions. Now if they think that I am not going to have a go at calling them on this, they are wrong. My wife and I laugh that except for our Republican friends we are already social pariahs, so take it all the way.

EDGE said...

It will be interesting to see how far Obama will move to the center. Most presidets do.

Anonymous said...

Hi Doc. I know you don't have the luxury of getting into "heated" debates with students but I can.
Some dummy in class yesterday wished Bush's helicopter would crash and called him "trash". I took exception to that. These kids have no concept of what Bush has done for them but they parrot the mindless hatred the popular culture has for him. Needless to say I put that little punk in his place and he left the classroom. I felt a bit bad afterwards but the hatred on campus towards Bush really got to me. These kids have no integrity or morals.

King Politics said...

I know you're not a fan of Obama, but are your thoughts on his transition? He's certainly moved to the center, which is not all that surprising. While his followers were always left, his rhetoric always showed a propensity for movement to the center.

Anonymous said...

Donald: I only reflect the words I see written here, by your supporters, and engendered by your own rhetoric. If that is the truth, it is the truth. (Do you really need me to pull some quotes?) You decry the Bush denigration, yet you have done nothing but perpetuate the Obama derangement. Am I wrong here? Or can you simply have it one way for your team, but not the loyal opposition. You can't denigrate a running candidate (Obama) and be intolerant when it is applied to someone on your side (Palin). The media was diligent there, maybe too much so. For once.

You speak daily on the disrespect towards Bush (For the record, I believe that is just political karma for the way he treated the American public and the blatant attempts by the Bush administration to hide their own agenda. Hello, Dick Cheney?) and, that said, I do agree with you that yesterday should have been non-partisan and that Bush should have been allowed to leave in dignity. I saw the signs, but I didn't hear the boos to be honest.

The problem with Bush, Iraq aside, is that the American people, in the end, simply did not believe him or his goals. He didn't sell it well. Not to us, not to the world.

There is something to be said for Obama's promise for more open government. It is We the People, not You the Elected do everything for us...

Anonymous said...

Tim: I'm not sure how Donald perpetuated "Obama derangement." Surely there must be a difference between criticism of Obama (or any President) which is healthy, and the middle fingers, "I hope you die," Bush is Hitler, Bush is responsible for 9/11, etc. Donald did nothing even remotely close in discussing Obama.

To Donald: I don't give the crowd much credit for "participation" in government. Most of them were there for a "rock concert" and to adore Obama.

JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

I'm sure Norm and the gang were outraged when Bush minions swift boated John McCain, Max Cleland and John Kerry. I could almost hear your cries of outrage here in Illinois when Bush supporters were spreading rumors about Senator McCain having an illigitimate child and being a coward for getting shot down and taken alive. You're a real classy bunch fellas. I salute you.

El Jefe Maximo said...

The new President must indeed be given respect, as he is our President.

But the Left would do well to bear in mind, as they chortle to themselves about arresting or trying President Bush, or members of his administration -- the costs in the future of what it is that they want. Upon reflection, hopefully they conclude that it is best to avoid politicization of justice.

If it is not, and the Left succeeds in criminalizing disagreements over policy, the practitioners of this madness will surely themselves be victims of it. Truth Commissions and the like can go both ways.

repsac3 said...

PPigg: "the middle fingers, "I hope you die," Bush is Hitler, Bush is responsible for 9/11, etc."

As I've said elsewhere, criticism of that behavior is fine--in fact, I concur, and have criticized it, myself--but it often turns from criticism of those actually responsible to criticism of all who share any of their political or social views.

It's like a person saying "anti-abortionists were murders," after discussing a clinic that was bombed or a doctor who was shot.

Some anti-abortionists were murderers, and deserved universal scorn for it. Most were not. Same here.

Along with the "nihilist" bit, that's been my biggest complaint with the writing & commentary here. Whoever the demon of the day is--Aires, Wright, that "little Eichman" guy, ANSWER--there are very few of them, and relatively few of us who agree with their every word or deed. True, liberals are less willing to denounce & renounce those who misbehave--maybe it has something to do with our belief that people are complicated, and no one act should define a person, or perhaps we're just more Christlike, & thus willing to forgive... But guilt by association and sweeping generalization almost never paints accurate or pretty pictures.

El Jefe: " it is best to avoid politicization of justice."

Funny, considering the Bush Justice Department scandal.

That said, it is best to avoid making legal or judicial decisions based on politics, but it is also a mistake to allow potential criminal acts to go untried & unpunished.

Given some of the allegations, investigations would be in order. I doubt anything much will happen--perhaps not even investigations, even--but the more we learn & know, the more the Bush administration can be cleared or convicted by the American people, if nothing else. (It's like some were saying about the wiretapping thing... If you've not done anything wrong, why worry? Let 'em snoop.)

Anonymous said...

For the record, I don't support criminalizing the Bush regime. I think that sets one up for a fall. And I also think it's really time to move forward and concentrate the work and energy on the future.

The past is done. Let's "move on."

PrivatePigg: Donald has called Obama a baby killer and a criminal, among other things. I think this just feeds the delusions of someone like Grace, who seems to get more unhinged the more she writes. I hope she's OK, but when you are filled with the holy spirit, strange things can happen. Apparently.

For the record I have neither advocated killing Bush or wishing him harm, nor do I support those who do.

Unlike, say, Ann Coulter, who has repeatedly called for the heads of people like Bill Clinton, and all Muslims. Coulter, for the record, has also recently been supported right here on this blog.

Do the math.

JBW said...

EDGE and King, Obama has always been a moderate so there will be no move towards the center. As you said King, many of his supporters are far left and the right did try to paint him that way as well but his rhetoric was always measured and inclusive.

Bosque, anyone who wishes for another person to be killed in a helicopter accident is lacking in morals regardless of their political affiliation.

Pigg, those who say such things about Bush are obviously low class but they are not the base of the Democratic party as Don claims. Trust me, most of us on the left are just as embarrassed by people like that as you are by people like Ann Coulter (unless you like Ann Coulter, which says something else about you entirely).

That said, Don has indeed perpetuated OD (are we really going to have to start using this term now?) with all of his blanket nihilist, socialist, communist, etc. rantings while (for the most part) not dissenting when his acolytes have written much worse here. As I've said, Obama is a pragmatic centrist and nothing like the secret commie Muslim born in another country that so many have tried to paint him as.

Yeah, a lot of those people just went to DC for the spectacle but it was historic; let 'em have their party. Personally, I was much more excited on election night than I was yesterday. I consider things like the inauguration ceremony to be largely irrelevant. I'm ready for him to start governing.

T101, neither did I hear much from the right when those veterans were torn down. I'm sure some objected but they weren't very numerous or loud about it.

Jefe, I am not chortling at the possibility of prosecution of members of Bush's administration for breaking our laws, I take it very seriously. If your argument is that Bush and company have done nothing wrong and that this is just a disagreement about policy then I will take that up with you but if it isn't then justice department commissions to investigate that wrongdoing are not politicising, they are lawful and necessary. I don't think Obama will pursue such action very rigorously but that doesn't mean many don't deserve it.

JBW said...

Jesus Tim and rep, you guys are always one comment ahead of me. Please excuse the duplicate Coulter reference above.

JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

Professor: I ASSume this part of your post was directed at me:

[And for all of those who keep telling me that hardline leftist "don't represent the base of the Democratic Party," we'll ... you can just kiss my ass on that one.]

I'm not offended. I'm proud that a professor at a major university that is known for it's academic standing would take the time to tell me to "kiss his ass."

Best wishes Professor. I still think you run a fine blog.

JBW said...

As do I Don, you're just wrong about a lot of things (this one included). Sorry to hear about your trouble with the streaming; I just DVRed the entire thing so I could skip the slow parts.

Average American said...

To make one thing clear, respect has to be earned. I have always, do now, and will always respect the office of the President of the United States, but I will NOT automatically respect the person holding that office until such time as that person earns it. So far, my respect has NOT been earned by our new President. His ideology is almost 180 degrees from mine. He has NO executive experience, other than 2 or 3 decisions he made today. His past is so terribly tainted with his associations that I am confident he would be hard-pressed to obtain a security clearance. His ruthless actions during the campaign, reneging on taking public financing, and most noteably concerning voter registration and absentee ballots by ACORN, mean that he has a LOT to make up for in my mind. IF he manages to actually be a decent President, he will eventually earn my respect---but not until then.

AmPowerBlog said...

" ... Donald has called Obama a baby killer and a criminal ... "

Obama is known as "Senator Infanticide," Tim, because he refused to support the born alive protection act, and the nicknames is from the National Review. I take nothing back on that, and so far you've never rebutted the charge that Obama's an abortion extremist. The man's a disgrace, so let me be the first to call him "President Infanticide," and he can prove me wrong, not you.

Obama's a liar. But show me where I called him a criminal as well, to refresh my memory.

I have respected Obama throughout this transition, and your nihilist allies have truly shown how low they will sink in the bilge of BDS.

AmPowerBlog said...

"Obama has always been a moderate so there will be no move towards the center."

JBW, sorry to break it to you sweetie, but Obama's no moderate. He's moderated his posistions since he won the nomination, but he has the most liberal Senate voting record and in 2007 he was the most vociferous Iraq withrawal hawk in Congress. Get the fact straight, dude.

AmPowerBlog said...

Truth101: I teach community college, but my Ph.D.'s from a major university. You can still kiss my ass regarding the denials of the radicals in the Democratic base.

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks Average American: He's earned a little respect from me so far, but the jury's, especially on foreign and social policy.

JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

I still have a high opinion of you for your chosen vocation and education Donald. I still feel both honored and humbled by your invitation to kiss your ass. I still think you run a fine blog.

There. Your ass has been kissed. Now do you like as much as all your disciples that have a weird psyhotic urge to thank you for everything you post?

Anonymous said...

That wasn't hard to find:

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Obama's Criminal Fundraising Machine

As for Obama as Senator Infanticide...the name comes from your base at the National Review. I guess that makes it OK for you to repeat it ad nauseam.

Obama has never once killed a baby, just like a gun has never once killed a person. People do. Obama supports the right of choice in family planning, and education. His views have been exaggerated to great detail.

AmPowerBlog said...

Tim: It is illegal to accept foreign contributions. Even the FEC was looking into possible criminal charges.

It's called journalism and reporting, something that wasn't done nearly enough on Obama's campaign finance corruption.


JBW said...

Don: watch the sweetie shit there big guy; you haven't even bought me a drink yet.

I'm sure you already know this (or if you don't know it you should as a PoliSci prof) and just like to ignore it out of convenience for your little talking point there but for everyone else who likes to say this as if it proves some grand point here are some actual facts:

"From NBC's Mark Murray
National Journal magazine is reporting that Obama was the most liberal senator of 2007, according to the vote ratings it does every year for members of Congress. Clinton, meanwhile, ranks as the 16th most-liberal senator.

But a bit of context here: National Journal used 99 Senate votes in 2007 as the basis for its rankings, and because he was on the presidential campaign trail, Obama missed a third of those votes. (According to the magazine, Obama voted the liberal way 65 out of 66 votes. Clinton, meanwhile, voted the liberal way in 77 out of her 82 votes).

National Journal's vote ratings became an issue in the 2004 general election, when Republicans used the magazine's ranking of John Kerry as the most liberal senator of 2003 to label the then-Democratic nominee as the "most liberal senator" -- even though that was his rating for just that one year, when (like Obama did) he missed quite a few Senate votes due to being on the presidential campaign trail.

...Indeed, while Obama ranks as the magazine's most liberal senator of 2007, his ranking was 16th in 2005 and 10th in 2006."

So they picked and chose which votes they counted and the votes he missed running for president exaggerated his record on those votes that one year, and before someone starts talking smack about him missing votes or voting "present" there's this:

"As for McCain, the magazine says that he didn't vote frequently enough in 2007 to get an overall rating. Per National Journal, "He missed more than half of the votes in both the economic and foreign-policy categories. On social issues, which include immigration, McCain received a conservative score of 59.""

Also, no other study with any kind of scientific or journalistic repute has found Obama to be the "most liberal" senator except for this one conservative magazine in this one year but there it is in black and white so anyone can now point to it to back up their accusations. Plus as I said, it makes such a good talking point. "Most liberal". Most!

And as to Iraq, an overwhelming majority of Americans want us to withdraw from that country. Making the most insistent outcry (you do know that's what vociferous means, right?) for withdrawal means that he's echoing the will of the people.

Here's how you can dice us up: the nuts on the far right want us to stay forever, the nuts on the far left want us to leave today and most of the people in between want a responsible yet expeditious phased withdrawal. That's what Obama wants and it's what he's always said. And before you say it, yes he was wrong on the surge but he's right on this.

I promised myself that I wasn't going to start saying a phrase like "Obama Derangement Syndrome" like you zombies have these past years but sometimes I wonder...

AmPowerBlog said...

JBW: You're deranged, with all due respect, if you think Obama's "moderate." On abortion alone he makes Teddy Kennedy look like a Rockefeller Republican!

JBW said...

Obama's a liberal, I've never said otherwise. But he's a moderate liberal and that's what I meant, that he's not "far left"; sorry if that was confusing.

Watch what he does and how he governs, Don. We'll see who's right.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I'm looking forward to the MSM and their epiphany about presidential power. Bush uses presidential power=bad. BO=good.

BTW, t101, Dr.D is one of my greatest personal heroes and I thank him for his post. :)

Average American said...

....Indeed, while Obama ranks as the magazine's most liberal senator of 2007, his ranking was 16th in 2005 and 10th in 2006."....

JBW, 16+10+1=27divided by 3=9. If, by your information, he averaged 9th place from the left end of the line, I submit to you that, yes, he is a member of the "far left", and not a "moderate liberal." I do hope you are right about him governing from the middle, but I doubt that will be the case.

JBW said...

AA: Again, the numbers you're using are all from this one conservative magazine (which is what I was chiding Don for doing earlier) but irregardless, I highly doubt his stance on dozens of issues is markedly different from the guy or chick 30 spots to his right. I said that he's liberal, just not the "most liberal". And again, keep watching him and we'll see who's right.

repsac3 said...

Interesting Bits Department:

Donald: Obama is known as "Senator Infanticide... ...and the nickname is from the National Review.

I've seen some of my fellow "nihilists" call you many a thing, professor, but even so, I would never sink so low as to say "Donald Douglas is known as "'Professor Pompous McBlowhard'..."

When a small contingent of partisan people create a nasty nickname for someone, that does not mean the person "is known" by that name outside of that small circle of partisan people, and suggesting otherwise is deceitful & dishonest.

Donald: "Obama's a liar. But show me where I called him a criminal as well, to refresh my memory."

There's a problem with taking that tack... While it doesn't happen often 'round here, some folks are fully willing to back what they say with the evidence...

Tim: "That wasn't hard to find:

Saturday, October 25, 2008
American Power: Obama's Criminal Fundraising Machine

I guess that'd be where, Donald. It wasn't whether or not it what you said was a fact--that was debated at that thread, & no doubt will be again... ...perhaps even here in this one. The charge was that you'd in fact said it in the first place and--while you didn't deny it outright--your "refresh my memory" bit can certainly be taken as an indication that you didn't believe you had. But yeah, you had.

(A liar? Where did that come up in the thread prior to your mention of the term here?)

Donald: "You're deranged, with all due respect..."

I believe one or two of us've pointed this out to you before (though, I'll be damned if I can find any of 'em, just now), but adding "with all due respect" to an ad hominem attack or argument does not absolve you of the ad hominem attack.

Traditionally, one uses the phrase "with all due respect" to say something along the lines of, "While I think you're quite intelligent, I disagree with you in this instance." Our friend, The Free Dictionary, says it is used to disagree politely with someone. Folks can certainly judge for themselves whether that is your intent here, but personally, I think not.

And for those who dig the funny, and are unoffended or affected by "bad" words, I offer this, which I found whilst researching the aforementioned idiom. I think it speaks to what I'm suggesting here, kinda: With All Due Respect...